The Men Who Loved Trains
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A behind-the-scenes look at the boardroom battles to save American railroads

A saga about one of the oldest and most romantic enterprises in the land—America's railroads—The Men Who Loved Trains introduces some of the most dynamic businessmen in America. Here are the chieftains who have run the railroads, including those who set about grabbing power and big salaries for themselves, and others who truly loved the industry.

As a journalist and associate editor of Fortune magazine who covered the demise of Penn Central and the creation of Conrail, Rush Loving often had a front row seat to the foibles and follies of this group of men. He uncovers intrigue, greed, lust for power, boardroom battles, and takeover wars and turns them into a page-turning story for readers.

Included is the story of how the chairman of CSX Corporation, who later became George W. Bush's Treasury secretary, was inept as a manager but managed to make millions for himself while his company drifted in chaos. Men such as he were shy of scruples, yet there were also those who loved trains and railroading, and who played key roles in reshaping transportation in the northeastern United States. This book will delight not only the rail fan, but anyone interested in American business and history.

1. The Forrest Gump of Railroading
2. Meeting the Blue-Eyed Jew from Minnesota
3. A Cabal at the Greenbrier
4. The Portly Virginia Gentleman
5. An Eleventh Hour Surprise
6. "Where the Hell Is Harrisburg?"
7. Cooking the Books
8. "That Telephone Man"
9. The Granddaddy of Enron
10. Some High Society Sex
11. "They Are Going to Run Out of Cash"
12. The Scandals Unfold
13. Booted Off the Property
14. A School Band on the Railroad Tracks
15. The Unsinkable Chief Wawatam
16. Donning the Mantle of Moses
17. Merging Railroads over Bourbon
18. Selling the Shiny Silver Sphere
19. "God Save Me from the Planners and Thinkers!"
20. Son of Penn Central
21. "Why the Hell Do We Need Four Tracks Out Here?"
22. Girding for Battle
23. "We Will Fight with Every Means at Our Disposal"
24. John Snow, CEO
25. A Catalog of Blunders
26. "I Think We Want to Be Seen as Somewhat Crazy"
27. In the Betrayal Suite
28. The Day the Horse Fell Down



Publié par
Date de parution 21 mai 2006
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253000644
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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Railroads Past and Present George M. Smerk, Editor A list of books in the series appears at the end of this volume.
Endpapers: BEFORE CONRAIL, the Northeast’s railroads looked like a mass of spaghetti, winding up and down river valleys, crossing one another and running side by side between the region’s major freight markets. As the anthracite coal industry died away, the region’s economy changed and traffic was diverted to the new interstate highways, the railroads were forced to steal business from each other, and eventually almost all plunged into bankruptcy; AFTER CONRAIL, Norfolk Southern and CSX became two massive systems that stretched from Florida to New England and west to the Mississippi River. They also share Conrail’s former operations in New Jersey, the Monongahela coal fields, and Detroit. Not shown are the Delaware and Hudson, which runs from Montreal to Binghamton, New York, and is now owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and the Boston and Maine, which is part of the Guilford Rail System. The CP–D&H has trackage rights over NS’s Southern Tier route from Binghamton, New York, to North Jersey and west to Buffalo, and NS has rights over the CP–D&H and the former Boston and Maine into eastern Massachusetts. Copyright 2005 Trains Magazine. Reprinted with permission.
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press 601 North Morton Street Bloomington, IN 47404-3797 USA
Telephone orders 800-842-6796 Fax orders 812-855-7931 Orders by e-mail
© 2006 by Rush Loving Jr. All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Loving, Rush. The men who loved trains : the story of men who battled greed to save an ailing industry / Rush Loving, Jr. p. cm. — (Railroads past and present) Includes index. ISBN 0-253-34757-2 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. Railroads—United States—Biography. 2. Capitalists and financiers—United States—Biography. 3. Railroad companies—United States— History. I. Title. II. Series. HE2752.L68 2006 385.092'273—dc22 2005030295
1 2 3 4 5 11 10 09 08 07 06
To my parents, Margaret B. Loving and W. Rush Loving, Who sacrificed to ensure that I was educated Well enough to write books like this, And To my wife, Jane Gregory Loving, Whose love carried me through a long and laborious writing process
“Behind the scenes they would be adversaries, trying incessantly to outwit each other, and their battles would totally reshape eastern railroading.” ——Chapter 19
Preface  1 The Forrest Gump of Railroading  2 Meeting the Blue-Eyed Jew from Minnesota  3 A Cabal at the Greenbrier  4 The Portly Virginia Gentleman  5 An Eleventh Hour Surprise  6 “Where the Hell Is Harrisburg?”  7 Cooking the Books  8 “That Telephone Man”  9 The Granddaddy of Enron 10 Some High Society Sex 11 “They Are Going to Run Out of Cash” 12 The Scandals Unfold 13 Booted Off the Property 14 A School Band on the Railroad Tracks 15 The UnsinkableChief Wawatam 16 Donning the Mantle of Moses 17 Merging Railroads over Bourbon 18 Selling the Shiny Silver Sphere 19 “God Save Me from the Planners and Thinkers!” 20 Son of Penn Central 21 “Why the Hell Do We Need Four Tracks Out Here?” 22 Girding for Battle 23 “We Will Fight with Every Means at Our Disposal” 24 John Snow, CEO 25 A Catalog of Blunders 26 “I Think We Want to Be Seen as Somewhat Crazy” 27 In the Betrayal Suite 28 The Day the Horse Fell Down
Although its contents are certainly meant to be absolutely accurate and enlightening and its conclusions penetrating and serious, as every serious academic work should be,The Men Who Loved Trainsis not a product of traditional academic research. It is a work of journalism and is founded on scores of interviews that began more than 35 years ago. It also is based to a limited extent on my own experiences watching, recording, and even participating in the history of the Northeast’s railroads during the last half of the twentieth century. I had the privilege of reporting on the demise of Penn Central and the creation of Conrail as an associate editor ofFortune, and I have drawn on some of my reporting from those days in writing this book. I’ve benefited as well from my experience as a consultant during the years since leaving the magazine. During that time I advised Conrail and the Norfolk and Western Railway on their annual reports to the shareholders. I also provided editorial guidance to the United States Railway Association when it was urging Congress to keep Conrail alive, and for more than 10 years before the acquisition of Conrail I consulted CSX, providing a variety of services, from economic and marketing studies to communications strategies, and even serving as CSX’s secret intelligence operative. From all those experiences I sometimes had a front row seat when the chieftains of the railroad industry were battling one another, and those memories have helped enrich this book. I was aided by the many maps, statistics, and timetables that all the northeastern railroads had provided to me over the past 40 years. On occasion, especially when tracking a public battle, I have relied on newspaper clips and press releases to ensure accurate chronologies, and I have consulted two books on Penn Central, mostly to double-check dates. One,The Wreck of the Penn Central(Little, Brown, 1971) by Joseph R. Daughen and Peter Binzen, was published just after the company went into receivership and was very helpful. The other,The Fallen Colossus(Weybright and Talley, 1977) by Robert Sobel, was less so. Since I never had the opportunity to interview David Bevan, the chief financial officer of Penn Central, I found his own view of the bankruptcy and defense of his own actions in Stephen Salsbury’s bookNo Way to Run a Railroad, which was published in 1982 by McGraw-Hill. Some of his own statements made Bevan seem all the more culpable. Many government documents provided a rich field of material. Among them wereA Staff Study of the Financial Collapse of the Penn Central Company, which was issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1972; a similar report in 1971 by the Interstate Commerce Commission on Penn Central’s bookkeeping scandal;Rail Service in the Midwest and Northeast Region: A Report by the Secretary of Transportation, printed in 1974; numerous system plans and reports by the United States Railway Association, andThe Great Railway Crisis, a history of USRA prepared in 1978 by John E. Harr under the direction of a panel of the National Academy of Public Administration. My account of the Conrail takeover battle in 1996 and 1997 was helped by some superb stories by my old friend Don Phillips, then of theWashington Post, and by another reporter whom I also hold in great respect, Henry Holcomb of thePhiladelphia Inquirer. All that, though, is merely a fraction of the research that went into this book. The bulk of this material came from interviews with well over 200 people, ranging from railroad chairmen to locomotive engineers. One of the greatest dividends is the rich collection of interesting people a reporter accumulates over the years. It is those people, many very close friends, who made this book work. Although many sources spoke on deep background or on a not-for-attribution basis and cannot be named, I do want to acknowledge publicly the many others who can be mentioned and who were so helpful. Foremost among them are two of my oldest and closest friends, Tom Hoppin and Jim McClellan. Jim’s importance to this book is obvious, for he is the continuing thread of this tale, starting in his youth at the New York Central and winding up at Norfolk Southern. He has been a rich source on all the events that have shaped the eastern railroads in the past 45 years. Of equal help, Tom has seen many of the same events from the vantage point of the corporate communications departments of Penn Central and CSX. I thank both Tom and Jim for all the time and patient assistance that they have provided. I owe special gratitude to the late Alfred E. Perlman, who headed the New York Central and the Western Pacific and between those posts was president of Penn Central. Al gave me hours of his time, often sitting up until the early hours of the morning as we sipped cognac and smoked cigars and he recounted his life’s story and taught me the rudiments of railroad economics and operations. Jack Fishwick, former chairman of the Norfolk and Western, and Hays Watkins, who headed CSX,
were especially helpful as I labored over the manuscript and tried to ensure that it was totally accurate. Jack offered valuable suggestions on ways to market the book, and although he had no inkling of how the book would treat him, he kept urging me to finish so that he could read it. Watkins’s book of memoirs,Just Call Me Hays (R.E.B. Communications, 2001), also was helpful as I double-checked facts, names, and dates. The late Alex Bilanow, an old friend who was spokesman for the USRA, generously gave me his entire archives, including copies of all the news stories that had appeared about United States Railway Association between 1974 and 1986. On the saga of Penn Central I was helped especially by the late Jervis Langdon, who was the railroad’s last president, Bill Lashley, who headed Penn Central’s corporate communications, and the late Basil Cole, who was Stuart Saunders’s assistant. These three men dug back 25 years to provide me with a treasure chest of details. After my story on Penn Central’s collapse appeared inFortune, the late Stuart Saunders spent an afternoon in secret with me giving his side of the saga. It was unfortunate I did not have his views before my magazine piece appeared, for his input added important details to this book. The late W. Graham Claytor Jr., who at that time was chairman of the Southern Railway and later headed Amtrak, helped as well, always making time available to me. Other sources for that period included the late John Barriger, a delightful man who was a walking compendium of railroad knowledge. John ran the Boston and Maine Railroad during its bankrupt years. I’m also indebted to the late Robert W. Blanchette, who was counsel to Penn Central’s trustees and later head of the Federal Railway Administration; the late William H. Moore, who ran Penn Central until Langdon fired him; Bill Cunitz, who was Bill Lashley’s assistant in the corporate communications department; the late Robert Hamilton of the Southern Railway; Bruce Sterzing, who headed the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, and Dave DeBoer, who has rich memories of the marketing department during the first days of Penn Central. A number of sources provided details about the personality and career of Al Perlman. One of the most valuable sources on Perlman was the late Robert G. “Mike” Flannery, who headed the Western Pacific and then became president of the Missouri Pacific and the Union Pacific. Another was Harry Bruce, whom Perlman and Flannery put in charge of marketing at the WP. Like other Perlman lieutenants, Bruce went on to head another railroad, the Illinois Central. When the government stepped in and set up Amtrak and then created Conrail out of Penn Central and other bankrupt roads, a number of people played important roles, and I’m obliged to almost all of them for their help. The late Roger Lewis and his senior officers gave me an unusual insight into the early days of Amtrak. Jim Hagen, who played a key role in the formation of Conrail and later was its chairman, has given invaluable help on the creation of that company as well as on Conrail’s latter years. I’m also obliged to the late William G. Loftus, who worked with Hagen and Jim McClellan at the Department of Transportation. The late Frank Barnett, chairman of Union Pacific Corp., and his chief counsel, Bill McDonald, helped me piece together the events that led up to the passage of the 3-R Act. I owe thanks to Al Chesser, who headed the United Transportation Union, and to James M. “Broken Rail” Brunkenhoefer, the UTU’s current legislative director, who helped me track down Chesser. I also thank Charls Walker and Phil Potter, the consultants who persuaded Jerry Ford to sign the legislation that created Conrail; John Barnum, who at the time was the deputy secretary of transportation; the late Edward Jordan, who headed USRA and then became chairman of Conrail; Leo Mullin, Jordan’s chief planning officer who later served as chairman and CEO of Delta Air Lines; Dick Steiner, who was one of Hagen’s chief lieutenants in Conrail’s marketing department; and Richard Spence, Conrail’s president and chief operating officer. The late Stanley Crane was a valuable source and a good friend for many years, from the days when he was a vice president of the Southern Railway to the years when, as chairman and chief executive officer of Conrail, he turned that ailing giant around. I also thank Dick Hasselman, one of the best operations vice presidents in the business, who worked for Spence and Crane, and Bill Newman, Crane’s invaluable Washington lobbyist. A number of people provided information about the merger movement of the late 1970s. Among them were John Williams, former chief of corporate planning at the Southern Pacific; Bill Shafer of Norfolk Southern; and my old friend Lew Phelps, former vice president of public relations at the Norfolk and Western. Sources on the struggle between CSX and Norfolk Southern for control of the Northeast’s rail
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